Cinnamon Stars or better ‘Zimtsterne’
Today i want to share another great receipe with you all, in Germany this deliciousness is called ‘Zimtsterne’. My grandma and my mom always made those for us, especially… i think! lol I hope you all find yourself falling in love with them, and by the way they even taste better with age.. lol… well, not a year later but a couple of days anyways ( oh, on the other hand… we found once pepper nuts – ‘Pfeffernuesse’ a year later in an old pillowcase, have to say… they still tasted good around easter time…). So, here we go:
2 1/4 cups of confectioners sugar, plus more for rolling
15 ounces sliced almonds, with skin (about 4 1/2 cups)
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 large egg whites, room temperature
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
Sift the confectioners sugar. Put 1/2 cup of sifted confectioners sugar, 10 ounces (3 heaping cups) of the almonds and all of the cinnamon in a food processor. Process until the nuts are finely ground, with just a few larger pieces.
Whip the egg whites in a large, clean bowl with electric mixer on high speed until they hold soft peaks, about 1 minute. Gradually add the remaining confectioners sugar while whipping, until the whites are thick, creamy and somewhat stiff, about 2minutes more. Set aside 2/3 of this meringue for topping the cookies.
Fold the ground almond mixture and the lemon zest into the remaining meringue to make a stiff dough.
Preheat oven to 250 degree Fahrenheit. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
Lay a sheet of parchment paper or waxed paper on the work surface and lightly dust with confectioners sugar. Tur the dough out onto the the dusted paper, flatten and dust with more sugar if needed, and then lay another parchment paper or waxed paper on top. Roll the dough between the papers until its 1/4 inch thick. Flip the dough over and gently peel off the sheet of paper. For ease when cutting, lay the paper back on the dough, flip again and gently pull off the other side of paper so the dough is fuly released from it.
Cut dough with a 3 inch star cutter and place about 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Excess dough can be prerolled. Use a small spoon, brush or offset spatula to spread the reserved meringue over the top of each cookie, taking care not to let meringue drip over the sides. Press or sprinkle remaining sliced almonds in a decorative pattern into the meringue.
Bake cookies until bottoms are light golden brown and meringue is set and crisp, about 30 minutes. Turn off the oven and open the oven door to release heat and dry cookies out in the oven for 10 more minutes.
Busy baker’s tip: The dough can be frozen in between the sheets of paper for up to 2 weeks. Store baked cookies in an airtight container for up to 10 days.
ENJOY <3 Merry Christmas <3